Will Bing’s Integration of Facebook Improve Their Search Engine Market Share?
It’s been known for a while that Bing has plans to integrate Facebook data within their search results. Back in 2010 it was first announced, and since then there have been minor efforts to make this integration happen. However, last week was a turning point; Microsoft’s search engine went on the social media offensive to incorporate an impressive level of Facebook data into their search results.
Bing recently became the second most used search engine in the US, behind Google, and has long been the second most used search engine here in the UK. Whilst in the US they do have much more of a competitive share, in the UK, they’re far off the pace. However, in both instances, they’re playing second fiddle to the search giant – Google. But will their partnership with Facebook change any of that? Let’s take a closer look.
It would appear that Bing have stepped up their efforts in providing social information to compete with the emerging social network that is Google Plus. What makes Google Plus all the more impressive is its own integration with Google’s search results. When you’re signed into your own account, if you perform a search, you’ll see results that have been shared or liked by people you are following on their social network. Google believe this is the way forward in terms of personalising search results to what you want. They’re pretty good at what they do, so there are no arguments over whether they’re right or wrong.
However, there’s now a twist in the tale. Whilst this all sounds great in theory, the problem Google have is that their social network of approximately 100 million is dwarfed by Facebook’s 900 odd million users. This problem is exacerbated when you consider that it’s Bing who has access to all that data. So if what Google say is true, that the future of search will see personalised results from social media and social networks, then surely the Bing/Facebook partnership could be lethal.
Whilst the two search engines’ efforts sound similar, it would appear Bing have gone that extra step to ensure their search engine’s usability isn’t compromised after the integration. For example, when you perform a search, you will still have your organic listings as before, but alongside this will feature a user mentions as well as ratings from people you are connected with on Facebook. This is in contrast to Google who list what your connections have liked and shared actually within the organic results themselves.
What’s all the more impressive is that Bing plans to integrate other social media sites such as LinkedIn and Quora, but more importantly Twitter as well. Such integration would no doubt see an increase in search volume wouldn’t it? Well this is entirely dependent on whether users want more personalised search results. We’re heading into an age of the Internet whereby a lot of users will want to stay in control of their personal information, and with the new Cookie law coming into force at the end of this month, it’s clear that the option of a more private web is certainly popular in some quarters.
Whether this is the turning point that will see Bing steadily make ground on Google in terms of search engine market share we will just have to wait and see, but it certainly makes the whole search engine landscape a lot more interesting. So watch this space.